NEW YORK CITY (CelebrityAccess) – Ian McDonald, co-founder of the art-rock group King Crimson in the late 1960s and the soft-rock American rock band Foreigner in the 1970s, died on February 9, at the age of 75. Billboard reports the rocker passed away of cancer, according to his son.
McDonald played keyboard and woodwinds with King Crimson, adding guitar once he became a part of Foreigner. After the release of King Crimson’s debut album In the Court of the Crimson King, McDonald left the band but was instrumental in establishing the progressive-rock sound of the band.
McDonald went on to launch legendary act Foreigner with co-founder Mick Jones. The initial lineup consisted of McDonald (keyboard, woodwinds, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (guitarist), Lou Gramm (singer), Dennis Elliott (drummer), Al Greenwood (keyboardist), and Ed Gagliardi (bassist). He stayed with Foreigner until 1980, when he was let go (along with half of the band) by Jones. McDonald played on tracks such as “Hot Blooded”, “Double Vision”, “Cold as Ice”, and “Feels Like the First Time,” co-writing several of the band’s cuts.
McDonald went on as a solo act, releasing his first album Drivers Eyes in 2009, followed by Take Five Steps nearly 10 years later. He also joined the group Honey West, appearing on their 2017 album Bad Old World.
Jones released a statement on his Facebook about his friend, bandmate and fellow musician. You can see the post below.